The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: November 2008 (page 1 of 2)


The race has finally come and gone. Matt and I were sick as dogs and I didn’t sleep for more than 3 hours at a stretch the night before, but we finished and we’re very excited about that! Matt and I timed ourselves (stopping the clock a couple of times for port-a-potty breaks along the course) and our unofficial time was just over 2:31. Our official chip time was 2:37:49 and Gillian’s was 1:46:56. Here are some pictures:

Gillian in the home stretch:



Me and Matt in the home stretch:



Three proud finishers:


World’s Best Cider Recipe

Step One:  Agree to make applesauce for Thanksgiving dinner.

Step Two:  Come to the brilliant conclusion that you can kill two birds with one stone by making more, making it organic, and freezing it into cubes for your child to eat for several months.

Step Three:  When asked if you want a bushel of organic apples to be purchased for you at the Farmer’s Market, say yes.

Step Four:  Do NOT give a second thought to how many apples might be in a bushel, it can’t be that many, right?

Step Five:  When the huge box (which apparently contains a bushel) of apples arrives at your house, do not flinch or give said apples any thought until you absolutely have to.

Step Six:  Make a plan with a willing participant (mothers/grandmothers work very well for this purpose) to make the applesauce over the course of a day at their house so that your kitchen isn’t destroyed and you will have help with your child.

Step Seven:  Carefully expose your child to a very nasty virus.

Step Eight:  Scrap your earlier plan to create the applesauce in someone else’s house (in a brand new, fantastic kitchen that’s twice the size of yours) in favor of inviting your helper over to your house because your child is now too sick to take out into the cold, wind, and rain.

Step Nine:  When your helper arrives take advantage of the chance to go to two grocery stores without your sick child.

Step Ten:  Make sure to use lots of coupons at the stores,  take a disorganized list so that you have to go to the same aisle 4 separate times, and most importantly:  walk out of one of the stores only to find that they have charged you the wrong amount for three of your items resulting in a 25 minute session at the “customer service” counter which finally ends in a refund.

Step Eleven:  Return home at the time your helper was planning on leaving.

Step Twelve:  Make sure your child cries whenever you put him down and has as much snot as is humanly possible running down his face so that your helper will take pity on you and begin coring some apples.

Step Thirteen:  Boil the first 60 apples.

Step Fourteen:  Bathe your sick child and put him to bed.

Step Fifteen:  Enlist another helper (a spouse works very nicely) to help core and wash the remaining 60 apples while you run the first 60 (now cooked) through the ricer.

Step Sixteen:  Put the several large containers of apple sauce you now have into storage containers and then in the fridge.

Step Seventeen:  Boil the last 60 apples.

Step Eighteen:  Run the last 60 apples through the ricer.

Step Nineteen:  (It should be at least 11pm by the time you get to this step) Wonder what the hot juice that’s left in the pot would taste like on your sore throat.

Step Twenty:  Get your helper to try the hot juice to make sure it’s not poisonous.

Step Twenty-One:  Discover that the hot juice is like nectar from the Gods.

Step Twenty-Two:  Sieve the remaining juice and use the apple bits in the sauce.

Voila: The World’s Best Cider!

When Things Get Quiet

I know by now that this is never a good sign — especially lately as Liam has been either sneezing, coughing, or crying for the past four or five days — so he’s really easy to hear when he’s not in my lap (which is where he’s been for 95% of that time). A few minutes ago things got really quiet. I could see his head around the corner in the living room — but I couldn’t see his body. This scenario occurs daily and usually he’s “reading” a book. I assumed that this is what he was doing this time as well. I was wrong. When I came around the corner, I saw this:


It’s one of the first smiles I’ve seen in a while. It’s not his usual ear-to-ear grin, but it’s something.  At this point, I’ll take it.

Who Needs A Dog?

We don’t — we’ve got Liam instead.  He needs to be walked, fed, played with, and he certainly isn’t housebroken (although I do think that paper training has got to be easier than potty training — but I’ve never paper trained, so who knows).  His main issue right now though, is that he’s eating the furniture.  He’s worse than a lab.

He started with his crib.  We tried putting crib rail protectors on all sides but he’s figured out how to remove them and his new favorite game is a tie between throwing the rails across the room and banging them against the wall.  The good thing (for him, anyway) is that when he accidentally drops them (or intentionally throws them) there are 7 more to go and so on and so forth.  His crib is ruined and I’m not sure what to do about keeping him from ingesting varnish and wood.

Today though, he moved on to his toy box.  Before today he didn’t have any idea that the thing opened at all and I intended to keep it that way for as long as possible.  Unfortunately the cat’s outta the bag on that one.  He’s spent the better part of today opening and closing, opening and closing, opening and closing, lather, rinse, repeat.  At some point during the day he’s also learned that because the toy box is wood like his crib it creates what must be the same wonderful crunching sensation that occurs when he destroys his crib night after night and nap after nap.

When I was growing up we only had one dog with chewing issues and unfortunately smacking my child with a rolled-up newspaper is not an option so has anyone got any creative suggestions on how to keep him from destroying all my furniture and poisoning himself at the same time?

Dear Georgia Power,

First of all, I understand that your practice of pruning trees that are around power lines is a cost-saving measure.  The more upkeep you do now, the less you’ll have to do when storms come in.  I get it.  What I don’t get is the note you left on our door over two weeks ago that said someone would be coming out to trim the trees in 1-5 days.  There’s no way you can work that math in your favor — even if you use the infamous “business days” counting method.  I understand that I’m pretty much powerless on this point — but the absolute least you can do is to give an even semi-accurate estimation of when you’ll show up.  What I also don’t get is how you have the uncanny ability to know, without being told, what would be the worst possible day and time to do this.  My son who, for comparison, slept for 2 hours and 5 minutes for his first nap yesterday (and was subsequently in a good mood and took another hour and a half nap for his second), took a 40 minute nap this morning.  I guess that this is why you chose to come chop down and chip trees in my front yard 1 hour and 15 minutes into his second nap.  He’s exhausted, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s your fault.  Fair warning: I’ll be calling the hotline at around 5:30 to get someone to come out here and take care of the problem when he has a meltdown and cries for the rest of the evening.  Since you apparently make it your business to know when my son’s napping I’m making it my business to let you listen to him scream for a couple of hours.  One last question: Has there been a merger between you and UPS that I haven’t heard about yet?  Cause it sure seems like y’all are run by the same incomptent, irritating, disorganized folks.

Talk to you in a couple hours,


You Know You’re Getting Older…

…when your husband surprises you three weeks before your birthday with an early present, about which you’re both very excited, and it’s a trash can.

This trash can is somehow both a luxury and a necessity because not only does Liam still eat the trash can, making regular use of disinfectant wipes to rid the thing of e-coli and salmonella a common occurrence — he has now taken it to the next level of opening it and sticking his hand inside to see what treasures he may find — which you can imagine is pretty gross when the thing is over halfway full…

You’ve gotta give the kid credit for good timing since yesterday before Matt got home to give me the trash can Liam managed to knock the thing (and its contents) over onto the floor. By the time Matt got here it was in the bonus room. He’s also come home to find it on the kitchen table (sanitary, huh?). Do you know how hard it is to cook without a trash can?

Liam has already spent considerable time this morning trying to figure out how to unlock it — but so far he’s failed. I figure either he won’t ever crack the code of the latch (which is helpful for obvious reasons) or he’s a true engineer and he’ll figure it out tomorrow (and he’ll save a ton of money by going to Georgia Tech). It’s a win-win, I think.

The short version (which we all know I’m pretty much incapable of telling) is that I love my new trash can and I love my husband for giving it to me three weeks early. Am I boring or what…?

Exhibit A:



Today I was a champ.  I managed to make a vegetable beef soup (complete with chopping 5 lbs. of potatoes and cooking 4 pounds of beef) while simultaneously playing a game of baby soccer (which is a whole lot like fetch).  I was so proud of myself as I managed to use a bunch of the frozen veggies that I got for next-to-nothing with sales and coupons and make a nutritious meal for my family that would also last for a while (translation: I wouldn’t have to cook again for at least a few days).  I was a champ.  I was Super Mom.  Stay-At-Home-Motherhood had never seen the likes of me.  Until, that is, I discovered that the burner under the soup on the stovetop — the one I’d had on for an hour — wasn’t actually on so much as it was in front of the burner that was actually on, doing a nice job of concealing it.  Don’t worry though–our family will still have a dinner that I acquired for next-to-nothing with sales and coupons.  As for the nutritious part–well, let’s just thank goodness for frozen pizza.

To Continue With The Theme…

So in all seriousness–has anyone ever heard of a healthy kid whose DPA* (daily poop average) is at least four and is rapidly approaching five or six?

*DPA is an unscientific estimate taken over the course of about a month.  There is a direct correlation between output and irritation, both physical for the test subject and emotional for the researcher.

Tinkle, Tinkle, Little…


Why is it always a total surprise when the spray begins?  I mean, it’s not like all the equipment’s not always right out there in the open, but somehow when it hits your hand, you still jump five feet in the air…

Yellow Jackets

Usually when yellow jackets are discussed in this house it is in a positive light–after all I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Georgia Tech.  This time, however, I am writing about the fact that I want to kill a few thousand of them.  We have had an active yellow jacket hole in our backyard for about a month and a half now.  We tried a trap that’s supposed to attract them and then trap them (that caught about 10 or so out of the swarming mass).  We tried the recommendation of our exterminator (who may get a call soon about treating more than just the interior of our house) which was to put a clear glass bowl over the hole at night when they’ve gone inside and leave it there for a couple of weeks.  We’ve tried that but apparently there’s either a neighborhood cat or some sort of woodland creature who thinks that this is a game.  We keep waking up to find the bowl overturned.  At this point we can’t use the deck (including our grill).  We can’t go out the back door except in the late evening.  And Matt hasn’t been able to mow the grass in months which has caused the backyard to look even more jungle-like than usual.  The only other suggestion we got came from the annals of Williams family history–and no offense Lou–but I’m not okay with any plan that involves kerosene and a match.  So does anyone have any suggestions?

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